His official title is Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and the pub sector will be hoping he’ll continue to argue its case in his new role as vocally as he has before. His exact portfolio has not yet been confirmed.
Griffiths tweeted: “Thrilled to be appointed Small Business Minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Representing Burton and Uttoxeter will always be my first priority but I look forward to getting started on the business brief.”
Matt Hancock MP has been appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which is responsible for driving growth and promoting Britain abroad.
This post is important for pubs because it supports them in their crucial role as a hub for the local community, as well as promoting them as a tourist attraction for overseas visitors. Recent research by the pub accommodation website Stay In A Pub found that the great British pub is one of the top three places that tourists from abroad want to visit.
Commenting on his new post, Hancock tweeted: “Thrilled to become DCMS Secretary. Such an exciting agenda, so much to do, and great people. Can’t wait to get stuck in #DigitalCultureMediaSport.”
Margot James MP, former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, has moved to become Minister for Digital and Creative Industries in DCMS.
John Glen MP is no longer hospitality minister as he has become Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister in the reshuffle.
Talent 'put to great use'
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "We are delighted to see the talents and expertise of Andrew Griffith put to such great use as a minister in the business department.
"As a past chairman of the Parliamentary Beer Group, he made a huge contribution to many campaigns, and we look forward to working with him.
"We have also worked with Matt Hancock over many years in many different ministerial roles, which gives him a great understanding of our sector. He will support the tourism industry and will certainly engage strongly on pub issues."
Kate Nicholls, chief executive at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, welcomed Hancock’s appointment saying he “has a great record of being very supportive towards the sector”.
She added: “Matt was instrumental is scrapping Form 696 and has been supportive towards the sharing economy. He also has experience in dealing with small businesses and is aware of the issues, challenges and opportunities facing high street businesses, particularly pubs. It means that the sector has a strong voice for hospitality and tourism around the Cabinet table with a background in the Treasury and at BEIS.”
“Andrew Griffiths has a fantastic track record championing the interests of the sector, and is in a fantastic position to continue his good work speaking up for pubs.”
Nicholls said the ALMR would “be in close contact with” other recent appointments Damian Hinds and Esther McVey to highlight the critical role the sector plays in driving education and employment, underlining the fantastic role our sector plays in creating jobs and apprenticeships, and driving skills. “Damian has been very supportive of hospitality in his role as Employment Minister and we look forward to having discussions with him about T levels, vocational skills training and apprenticeships for the hospitality sector.”
Commenting Griffith's new role, Mike Clist, British Institute of Innkeeping chief executive, said: “Since his election as MP for Burton and Uttoxeter in 2010, Andrew Griffiths has been a great supporter of beer, pubs and our industry. As a past chairman of the All Parliamentary Beer Group he understands the industry well and we congratulate him on his appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS. Andrew is one of the hardest working MP’s we know and we are sure he will bring his business experience and knowledge to this new appointment.”
Action on plastic
Prior to his new appointment, Griffiths had tweeted that he had recently written to his local pub companies to “ask them to stop using single use plastic straws and stirrers to help our planet”.
A number of pub companies across the UK have already announced they will no longer offer customers single-use plastic straws, including the Be At One group, Oakman Inns, the Alchemist, Laine Pub Company, All Bar One, JD Wetherspoon and the Liberation Group.
Reducing disposable plastic waste is high on the Government’s agenda and it has been reported that there will be a consultation on extending the 5p charge for single-use plastic bags in England. While this is aimed primarily at supermarkets, pressure is growing on all businesses to reduce plastic waste.